Tuesday, 25 October 2016


(Photography by our daughter)

When our daughter was 13 years old she made some lists showing a few things she'd been interested in over the last wee while.  All self-directed learning.

I'm putting this on our blog not to boast, but to show people HOW MUCH much learning a child can do when they're not under pressure to PRODUCE something to PROVE they are learning, and when they're not driven down avenues they have no interest in, labouring hours and hours reading dry text books and writing papers ...

Not every child at 13 would be interested in researching and enjoying such a wide variety of things, sometimes I think she is truly the "poster girl" for natural learning.  And I enjoy that all the more because our other six children are all boys who have EXTREMELY different learning styles.  

But if they were to make lists about their interests and recent learning areas I know I'd be pretty impressed too.

Late 2015

Manners and General Must-Dos of the 1900s
WWII and Winston Churchill
Royal Family
Natural Skincare and Health Supplements
Essential Oils
Instruments and Reading Music
Typing and Computer Skills
Natural Makeup
Needle Felting
Making Doll's Clothes
Soap and Candle Making
Knitting and Crochet

Early 2016

Childbirth and Motherhood
The Viking Age
Natural Education and the reasons it Works
Foreign Languages
Making Short Movies
Fitness and Exercise
Natural Health for Pets and other Animals
History of NZ and other Countries
Making Clubs
Jewellery Making
Interior Design
Acting/Performing on Stage
Stamp Collecting
Lettering and Hand Design Elements
Gothic and Medieval Castles
Making Blogs and Websites
Writing and Illustrating Books

Mid 2016

Special Air Service
Search And Rescue
NZ Police
and Police Informants
Martial Arts
Self Defence
NZ Air Force
Civil Defence
Gun Handling and Target Shooting
Fictional Writing
Macro Photography
Natural Disasters
Making Computer Games
Poisonous Plants and Animals
Human Trafficking
Character Design and Animation
Designing Survival Electronics  -  i.e. GPS/Compass/Weather Forecast
Legal Studies
Armed Offenders Squad
International Contact and Codes

Sunday, 23 October 2016

So Much To Learn

It's lovely for your children if you, as a home educating parent, can endeavour to be like a wise and knowledgeable friend - patient and kind, welcoming enquiry and humbly acknowledging when you don't know something ... yes, you're still the parent - and you MUST parent, but how lovely for a child to feel they can come to you with questions and discussions on life.

Today one of my children asked me 'What's quarter-life chaos?" 

Rather puzzled I said "Quarter as in half a half?"


"Life as in the opposite of death?"


"Chaos as in the opposite of order?"


"Quarter-life chaos?  Where have you heard this?"

"You said it."

"Me?  When?"

"Some time ago.  People having a quarter-life-chaos."

My light bulb finally went on. 

"Oh!  Mid-life crisis!"

Indeed we had been speaking of the old sterotypical male mid-life crisis involving a new wardrobe of tight jeans, unbuttoned shirts, a new red sports car, girlfriend in her 20's or 30's, parties etc etc etc.

And then I thought of how our children can be taking in SO MUCH information sometimes that often bits get forgotten, or stored into their memory banks incorrectly.

I imagined myself at a conference where I needed to take in hours and hours of new information, listen, absorb, remember ... sometimes our children's lives are like a conference every day.  More and more information, loaded into the memory banks.  When I was younger, at school, I was continually wondering if the information would start to spill out my ears at some point.

So much to learn.

And it's always a comfort for a child to know if something has been half-remembered they can always come back to ask for more information.


Saturday, 1 October 2016


It is said that when a child plays they process past experiences, and make sense of the world (amongst other things).

I loved seeing this scene one of my boys made when playing with the dollshouse, furniture, random loose parts and Sylvanians.


Mrs Kangaroo, assisted by Mr Kangaroo and Mrs Dalmation (the midwife) had just given birth at home in the birthing pool.

Very, very precious.